Oblivious (flute and clarinet)

May 22, 2016

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Premiered in North West University Potchefstroom – South Africa, Oblivious was composed in december of 2011 and finished the 1st of January of 2012. This audio recording captured these fabulous Argentinean players that also premiered the piece in Buenos Aires; Juliana Moreno (flute) and Federico Landaburu (clarinet).

In 2012, the piece was included in Ensemble Aventure’s concert program for the contemporary music festival in Quito (Ec.) for this concert, the program note was as follows:

  • Program Note for the Ecuadorian Premier (spanish):

La obra juega con el resultado de sonidos indeterminados causados por técnicas tradicionales y técnicas extendidas de ejecución. Su nombre alude a su resultado sonoro ya que pretende resaltar cualidades tímbricas que comúnmente se encuentran en segundo plano, cualidades que no percatamos por falta de enfoque sobre ellas. Así mismo, los ejecutantes deben tocar como si ignoraran la presencia de cualquier otro factor extra musical como publico y sala, pero requiere un gran nivel de escucha entre ellos para producir el resultado deseado. Como en otras obras, Oblivious representa un paisaje sonoro abstracto que por momentos deja pasar instantes musicales y sonoridades mas tradicionales. Por ultimo, la obra considera un juego espacial en su ejecución. Estas pautas no se deben ser contempladas como indicaciones extra musicales ligadas al teatro ni al performance, sino mas bien, como una invitación al publico a ignorar la escucha causal de lo que ocurre en escenario y absorber en la totalidad la cercanía tímbrica y las diferencias sonoras entre los instrumentos.

During the rehearsals in Quito I took some time to explain the artistic concept of the piece and it was very interesting how the performance took a different meaning. Martina Roth and Walter & Walter Ifrim played the piece with incredible commitment and expression. A few months later I received an email by Wolfgang Rüdiger (director) asking me to write a new program note with what I told the performers in Quito.

“[…] it would be very helpful, if you mention the aesthetic idea of a kind of palimpsest of two pictures, i.e. Jackson Pollock and a Renaissance-picture in the background. The audience will listen to your piece with open ears and eyes in the same time, your explanations in our dress rehearsal were very interesting and helpful for both the players and the audience. […]”

Honored and encouraged by his words I wrote the following program note:

  • Program Note for the German Premier:

Try to imagine a modern contemporary painting. Picture a piece by Jackson Pollock. Enjoy the quality and movements of the strokes of paint. Appreciate the material and its surface and how one drip blends to another. Contemplate it over and over again in a complete static manner. Focus and let yourself discover the richness of color, and layering inside that unfamiliar territory of an abstract world. Now imagine between those layers you can actually visualize and make out some tangible figures. As if Pollock painted on a used Botticelli canvas. Discover that “Botticelli” as part of the layering of Pollock’s work. Assimilate the comfortableness of something you “know” in that state of apparent chaos created by Pollock. Discover the Venus’ breast and body as if it was painted by accident by Pollock, a product of chance and your personal willing to find it.

Oblivious is a pictorial piece of music. It is not inspired by a particular painting but instead the idea of how one contemplates that art form. Furthermore it tries to apply this idea of one painting on top of another. It is a static piece of music that one should listen trying to find something new in the repetition of the “abstract” structures. The constant elaboration of timbre ideas submerge you in an unreal habitat were one forces the mind to look for new meanings; it is in this instant that when the melodic counterpoint ideas appear, one can find comfort but also enjoying a fresh state of mind regarding those “tangible” fragments of music.

after the premiere in Freiburgh a tiny critique was published here:

“[…] Ein leises, feines Stück mit seinen stummen Trillern und flirrenden Obertönen ist José Valdez’ “Oblivious” für Flöte und Klarinette, fein war auch die Abstimmung zwischen der Flötistin Martina Roth und Walter Ifrim. […]”

Oblivious Score. (if you desire these files, please contact me via the “contact” tab in my website)